tv [untitled] December 17, 2011 10:01am-10:31am PST
substance and the and come and a variety of income throughout the northeast corridor. raising heights on the waterfront, i do not care what anybody says, there is not a developer, him or her in this town, who would not wait for a 146-foot variance and wonder when they will get their foot into developing properties along the northeast corridor. thank you very much. supervisor mar: president chiu, i dissent to mention that some were referred to negatively, and some helped to produce this community vision with quite a bit of time, but you mentioned to the chinatown focus group, and i am wondering if you could talk a little bit about how this helped to inform the plan, as well. >> opening up the neighborhood to the waterfront, and this plan
does develop that, and we felt we needed as much information and input from our neighboring greece. i might also add that my group has sponsored a scholarship program for the low-income housing so that they could come to the club and be a part of the kids camp, which is the only kind of club in the city. every year. 700 kids belong to that and come to that club. president chiu: part of supervisor mar's question, how many kids? >> over 2800. they come from all over, from oakland, marin county, from the southern peninsula, and, of course, in the city. the majority of our members are not residents of the golden gate
way. supervisor mar: i think i mentioned to you before that my daughter learn to swim at the golden gate way. there are families i know that our swimming there. i know in the report, there are references to some other seawall lots, and one of the four principles, one, planning with people and neighborhoods, two, an ethnically diverse waterfront, 3, enhance and preserve the community's recreation opportunities, which i think is extremely important, and the fourth point is planning for the waterfront as a whole, so can i just ask you what the vision was for the other seawall lots that were identified, not just this one? >> i have to be honest with you, i am not the expert on that other than having worked with them.
there are plans and suggestions for retail, for housing, four other open space areas in a general way. that is probably the best i can do there. there are others that i am sure can give you more specific information, but it is a total plan. thank you very much for your time. president chiu: i know that supervisor mar contacted several. i have some cards. [reading names] >> my name is mr. glass go.
-- glasco. i live very close. i thank you for the opportunity to comment on the 8 washington project. this is calling for two special steps. one, raising the height limit, and two, removing the seawall from the public trust. extraordinary steps such as these should only be considered if they benefit the community at large. i do not believe that luxury condominiums qualified in this respect. the 8 washington project represents spot development. land facing the waterfront. almost three years ago, president chiu called for a
broader approach in this area. this deals with all of the seawall lots, and this has been discussed several times this afternoon. i believe that this is the right direction for development for san francisco, rather than the spot development of the port commission. with its 140 luxury condominiums, 400 parking spaces, and high rise buildings, the 8 washington project is exactly what san francisco does not need, effectively destroying the unique golden gate swim club with its extensive open space and recreation facilities used by residents from all over the city. this project will exacerbate traffic and pollution in and around an already congested intersection.
the proposed narrowing of washington street will further magnified congestion. the specific sources of congestion are the parking entrance on washington, the proposed parking entrance on washington, and the two driveways and loading dock along the corner on drum street. it already has many things. plus, the last part would be an ugly alley, a poor way to connect the city with the waterfront. in conclusion, the 8 washington project would destroy a unique recreational facility and it generates and needed congestion and pollution, only to serve those few who can afford the most expensive housing in san francisco. thank you for your attention.
>> good afternoon, supervisors. i am bill. i have lived at the gateway for 22 years. i am president of the golden gate way tenants association, and i am here to spoke in opposition -- to speak in opposition of the eight washington project. we live in a densely populated area. the proposed project is directly across the street from one of the high rise gateway buildings that s 440 residential units, and anyone who has ever lived or worked near a construction site can tell you about the effects of pile drivers. the tremendous noise generated by pile drivers, the excavation
portion of it is estimated to last six months. it will put a real serious hardship on residents in the building as well as other nearby buildings. in addition to that technical difficulty, there are downsides to the project. the first is to raise the plan for the taller of the two proposed residential structures. that is an increase of 60%, a very significant increase. if this increase in height is approved, others will follow. not all domino theories are incorrect. i seem to recall that the domino theory was proven partly correct when laos and cambodia
fell, but i do not want to press that too far. another downside is a 400 space underground parking garage that will increase existing traffic congestion at the intersection of washington and the embarcadero. finally, there is the adverse impact on community recreational facilities. the plan, as it currently exists, white out all nine existing tennis courts, leaving no tennis courts at this location. we endorse this study prepared by the asian neighborhood design group. thank you. >> good afternoon, members of the board. mary murphy, counsel to one of the project sponsors to this project. as you have heard, the port is one of the sponsors, and this is a public-private partnership,
and i represent the other side of it. there is also the developer of piers 1 and 5, which many people like. i very rarely have to come to say who the project sponsor is, but based on the testimony today, i need to clarify this for you. you have heard a lot about the current owners. the project sponsor does not own the golden gateway center or currently owned the club. they have an option to purchase the club from the current owner, so the protestations you heard today from mr. paul and even from our esteemed former city attorney about the condition of the club or things going on in the golden gateway center with respect to the dwelling units there, they have nothing to do with the project sponsor of this project, and i think it is important that we make that known. i want to thank the board for having this --
president chiu: i am sorry. i need to understand this. there will be a profit, and one is responsible to the green fencing, and in addition to what the opposition is trying to support. >> there is an option to purchase the property, so in any situation like that, a purchase and sell agreement, the current owner would be paid to sell their property, so that is certainly a benefit to them. in addition, they will get back at the end of the day a condominium interest and a fitness club. if this gets approved in the wisdom of this board and others, there will be a condominium created as part of the purchase price, so there is actual cash that gets paid. there is cash that gets paid to the board, to the current owner of the club, and then they will receive an edition in kind
payment with a fitness club being given back to them, but i think it is important to make that clear. the golden gate apartments have nothing to do with this project sponsor, or anything going on at the club, and i do want to be clear. i appreciate you having the hearing today, but it is important for the board to keep an open mind. there were so many things that were said that are not factually accurate that it is not possible for me in the time allotted me to address them. i wanted to start with the project sponsor, because i thought that was so important to make that clear, but i want to urge the board to keep this clear. this is an opportunity to be before the board and the planning commission. i think we will have a chance to actually explain it in full. you have written pieces the history of the site and the planning of the site from both sides, but it has been in bits and pieces. i would urge the board to wait until this is properly before
you said there can be a full accounting. the benefits and costs. there were a lot of things raised today about why the price structure is like this and what sort of benefits are afforded. i welcome the opportunity to have the proper forum to explain the full array of public benefits of the project and the actual costs that are associated with pain for those benefits, like taking a surface parking lot and taking those spaces which are very important for the uses, beloved destinations in the city, authentic, indigenous, retail, small businesses of the city that need parking, it takes a lot of parking to take those ugly, unsightly, above grade service bases and put them below the gray. that is just an example that the full project has to as a whole work for. i do want to just be clear that there have been a lot of things
that on the record today that are simply not possible to really explain or address, and respectfully, i have to say there have been factual misrepresentations today, and i do not like having to say something like that, but i do think it is important for that be known, but i do not want you to leave today with a misrepresentation. this is a fine project, and i think we will have the opportunity to prove the case to you on the right day when this is before the board, so i thank you for your time today, and i think you in advance for keeping an open mind about the project. president chiu: before the next speaker, i want to see if there is any more public comment. if you could line up on that side. next speaker. >> good afternoon, supervisors. my name is paul. i have lived and run businesses in the 8 centenary of for years.
i have come to make two points that i do not think have been made adequately today. one is what i consider to be a hundred pound gorilla in all of this a bird in hand. the only place people at cash to do something with the parking lots that had on the embarcadero. the america's cup has changed everything. the port will be running over with money. they can no longer cry that they are poor. the other point i want to make has to do with parking. i run two businesses, over the past 20 years, in the embarcadero area. there is plenty of parking under the embarcadero center. there is a big parking garage under the maritime center. i believe that the owners of
those parking areas will tell you that because of the lack of adequate cities signage, those garages are on those lots, so the argument that we need more parking space i believe is a spurious one. thank you. >> members of the committee, my name is charles. i am only here to say one thing. this is not a private club. i read in the newspaper about a private club being on that side. i have heard it here. members of the private club, they sit on the board of directors, and they occupy officers positions in the organization. this is a business. this is not a private club. if i had a business, if it had the word club in the title, it
would not be a private club. just because this business offers tennis and swimming does not make it a private club. it is not a private club. it is like the hair club for men or any of these clubs that you can join. this is what it is. it is just a simple business, and the services it offers is open to everyone. the prices are less than the public swimming facilities on a per day basis. that is why it is so attractive, and that is why so many people do not want to lose the advantages of the golden gate bridge tennis club for the average person, because it is available to the average person at a lower price, and it is not a private club. thank you.
>> hi, my name is cameron. i am here to read a letter from toby. i am a retired planning commissioner from the 1990's. during that time, i was also a member of the waterfront land use advisory committee. we spent years creating a plan, which was adopted in 1997. subsequently, things have been established. for several years, i was the chair of the advisory group and am currently a member, so i do not speak for the committee. this seawall lot was designated as a mixed use opportunities site, and eight potential uses were identified, including five that were part of the plan, and this includes residential housing, parking, retail job generators, and recreational enterprises. we are deeply concerned with -- not -- reuniting the city.
the current plan removes the wall and makes it possible for residents and workers from the nearby neighborhoods to access the waterfront. this may be the most important long-term feature of the plan. according to my personal priorities, i will list the benefits. pedestrian opening of jackson and pacific to the waterfront once again. affordable housing during a time of diminished resources. funds to repair historic buildings and running -- rotting piers. things for children. and, of course, the construction. as you listen to testimony, they appear to be the driving force in the efforts to terminate the project. in general, the heights and views are not protected in the planning code. this rises above the waterfront with no stepping down to soften
the image. this very tall building will be separated by eight washington. in fact, everything will load jackson street is above 85 feet. you will find that the average wage is 37 feet. the eight washington project consists of a team of aesthetically driven architects and planners who will provide the city with a remarkable development which will make us all very proud. there also accepted -- since -- acceptable of other things. we expect the same high-quality of washington -- of 8 washington. i am here to give you this binder full of letters, and i would like to read to you this is support -- to read to you the support.
the san francisco bicycle coalition, the carpenters local 22, the chamber of commerce, a city car share, the american institute of architects, and there are many more local businesses, merchants, and businesses in these binders, which i will leave with you. >> mr. chair, mr. president, members of the committee. prior to my years of experience with national issues, this was also as a 25-year member of the planning department and a five- year member of the planning group, so i have had considerable background there, and i currently keep my hand in
as a quote interested citizen on the northeast waterfront advisory group, and as such, i have had the opportunity to participate in the planning of east of the embarcadero steady and many presentations and many comments pro and con of this project -- the embarcadero study. one thing i would like to say, i think that the members in this room are probably very concerned about the testimony they heard about the golden gate towers and how it has been finding ways to avoid paying higher taxes on the property and to get around the city rent control board, and i would hope that the city would find this legislation in this regard. also, having said that, as was indicated, the golden gateway owner is not the developer for this project. the developer for this project has done a tremendous job on the east side of the embarcadero.
they did a project that no one could have believed came out as good as it did. i do not think there is anyone in the city to has applauded their work -- who has applauded their work. providing retail that activated the waterfront. they had the primary financial backing from the california state teachers' pension group, and clearly, the teachers are not part of the 1% that people are concerned about, reaping some of the financial benefits. i am a planner. i think from an urban design point of view, a transition from the golden gate towers towards the waterfront, these projects
would provide, would be a very desirable thing. the urban design plan never contemplated the removal of the freeway. my first day at the planning department, coming to the planning commission meeting, we are going to be doing something historic today. the planning commission adopted a plan that day, in the planning department has carried it forward with the northeast embarcaderos study -- embarcadero study, so for these reasons, i support the project, and thank you for your time. >> i have a couple of points and a couple of observations. this was one of seven suval
lots that was the reason for supervisors request for a study. the six other lots are north of broadway and have a 40-foot height limit. this was in the dancer area. i have been on the citizens advisory committee from the beginning representing the preservation committee. and been through this project from the beginning of that i was against it originally. until the configuration of a building and i joined forces because it was a nice project for the site. this is a developable site. i question shadows. maybe i am not informed well enough. this project is north of washington, the park is south of
washington. is not the son generally not in the direction of casting shadows? one of my main causes and as a preservationist i am concerned about the port's billion dollar plus a list of creating on it sound. this has poured revenue like crazy. a comment about the rush parking. 255 will service the ferry building. which brings up another lot. this is a fine development and
this is the same development. i hope that in fact this does not become a problem. it is a terrific project for the city. thank you. supervisor mar: is there anyone else who would like to speak? seeing none public comment is closed. supervisor president chiu, , any closing remarks? >> thank you. president chiu: as i said at the beginning, i thought it was important to hold this hearing today in part because there have been numerous public hearings with other city agencies. and planning, the port commission, we have not started
that conversation here. the most recent public meeting was last thursday when the planning department voted to initiate a process to consider the site. i thought we have had not an adequate consideration of the community with issues that have been at the heart of the debate over 8 washgin -- washington. when i came into office the discussion at that time was whether and 84-foot proposal was an appropriate proposal versus what i think many folks in my district wanted which was to seek a rezoning -- see a rezoning. i think a lot of letters in this book provided by the sponsor of the project are in support of what had been that 84-foot
height project. we're talking about a project that is 136 feet. it is a different project and will have more conversations. these are issues i think we need to start earlier. within a few short weeks we will be considering this project in front of the board. there has been discussion about the planning department, the report did put out. while placer electric -- appreciate the work that was done by staff, i did not think it reflected the input of many members of the community that participated and i did support a separate process that is embodied in the community vision report that has been circulated. there are a lot of interesting ideas in this division that have not been part of the process and the project we're talking about. i thought it was important for us to begin this conversation. we're going to continue it in the coming weeks and i want to thank